Lee Daniels' The Butler
The script by Emmy-winning scribe Danny Strong relies on ironic juxtapositions of events to piece together the story of the American Civil Rights Movement as seen by Whitaker's Cecil Gaines, a fictionalized version an actual longtime White House butler. It follows Gaines from the cotton fields of Georgia -- where his mother is raped by an overseer and his father shot dead by the same man -- to luxury hotels where he must endure serial assaults from bigots who see him only when they're seeking affirmation from a good Negro. I don't know that this man's story (as worthy as it is) -- much less the story of revolutionary change in this country -- can be told in 140 minutes without resorting to some unconvincing and annoying tropes. But it would have been interesting to see someone try.